By Valérie Guérin
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Extra info for A Grammar of Mavea: An Oceanic Langugage of Vanuatu
This graph is based on the pronunciation of a female speaker in her sixties. At least thirty tokens of each vowel were used. , Oct. 16, 2008). 7 Vowels features high back low round i + - e - a + + - o + + u + + + varied but not equally distributed in place and manner of articulation. The ellipses were fitted using the “direct least-square fitting” algorithm described in Pilu et al. 14 200 i 400 F1 (Hz) 600 i i i i i i iii i i i ii i i iieii i ee e ee e e e iee ee e i eu e i u e ee i e e e i ee e e e e e e e u uu u u u u u u u u uuu u u u uoo u o u uu uou o u u o uo u u u o o o o o o o o o o o o o a o u o oo o o o a a oo a a a a aa aa a aa a a i e u i e 800 1000 u u a a 1200 1400 3000 a aa a aa aa aa a aa a a aa a a 2700 2400 2100 1800 1500 1200 900 600 300 F2 (Hz) Fig.
Some examples follow. 15. 4 Vowel deletion The vowels /i/, /u/, and /o/ tend to delete word-finally when the word is at least two syllables long. A similar phenomenon in Araki is discussed in Franc¸ois (2002:21– 25). (75) /masi/ [mas] ‘bird, fish’ /tolu/ [tol] ‘three’ /varaNo/ [varaN] ‘finger’ These vowels may reappear with suffixation or in careful, hyper-articulated speech. This is reminiscent of thematic consonants in Oceanic languages, that is, consonants which reflect the original POc consonants, but which have been lost in modern languages.
13) [funopuma] ∼ [punopuma] ‘place name’ [farava] ∼ [parava] ‘female pig’ When I repeated those two words after him with [p], he corrected me and used [f] instead of [p]. Could it be that [f] is a rather recent innovation in the phonemic system of Ma˝vea? Although [f] started as an allophone of /v/, it may now be gaining ground as an independent phoneme. Crowley (2004:14) notes the instability of [f] and [v] in Bislama. He goes on to argue that if a merger takes place, it is in the direction of the voiceless consonant.